HCAP Weekly April 29, 2019

Windward District Service Center Concludes Spring Session of Kupuna Independent Life Series
Kumuhonua Resident Secures Permanent Housing at La’iola
Household Receives LIHEAP and Employment Assistance
Former SCSEP Participant Obtains Employment at HCAP
Kalihi STEM Students Showcase Sand Art Project at Town Hall Meeting


Windward District Service Center Concludes Spring Session of Kupuna Independent Life Series

Photo of Windward kupuna collage

On Wednesday, April 24th, the Windward District Service Center finished up their last spring session for the Kupuna Independent Life Series. It was a bittersweet day for everyone.  One of the program participants had passed away recently, and his wife paid a visit to say hello. She was in good spirits and reassured the kupuna that her husband was at peace when he passed away. A regular attendee herself, she told everyone that she had missed them.

The University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service’s Lori Matsuoka conducted her sixth and final session of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) class. Lori went over microwave cooking and how to be safe when using a microwave to cook foods. As a group, Lori led a discussion about the various uses of the microwave, what they have cooked in a microwave before, and what they didn’t know could be cooked in a microwave. At the end of the SNAP-Ed class, Lori gave everyone a lei, and presented them with certificates of completion along with their very own cookbook, which featured some of the recipes that were demonstrated to them throughout the 6-week series.

Then, it was lunchtime. Before the potluck began, one of the elder kupuna led a prayer session, giving thanks for the food they were about to enjoy. It was a beautiful prayer that left many of the kupuna and staff in tears. The potluck meal was as much a celebration of different cultures as it was a feast; some of the dishes shared included seasoned Chinese vegetables, Tahitian fruit pudding, and Filipino sweet rice, just to name a few.

The last presenter of the day was Doris from Honolulu’s Elderly Affairs Division (EAD). She talked to the kupuna about the services EAD provides for people residing on the Windward side. It was a conversational and casual sit-down discussion with the kupuna.

After Doris finished with her presentation, the kupuna helped with the clean-up. Before exchanging goodbyes, they let the Windward District Service Center staff know how much they enjoyed the program and spending time with them.


Kumuhonua Resident Secures Permanent Housing at La’iola

Photo of Walter Kumu

Walter, a senior, was forced to vacate his rental unit after his brother, who was the homeowner, decided to sell the property. With nowhere to live, Walter set up an encampment on the shores of Pearl Harbor. But following homeless encampment sweeps in the area, Walter relocated to the Hale Mauliola Navigation Center on Sand Island, where he lived in converted shipping containers.

Walter lived at Hale Mauliola and received services from the Institute for Human Services for six months before the opportunity to move into the Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center arose. At first, Walter was reluctant about the move. He had been living in the Honolulu metropolitan area for a while and was not familiar with the Kapolei area. Not long after his entry into Kumuhonua in September 2017, Walter tested positive for kidney complications. Walter started dialysis soon thereafter, and Kumuhonua staff did their best to help him keep track of medication and doctor’s appointments.

During his stay at Kumuhonua, Walter kept up with all of his commitments, including meeting goals set in his individual housing plan, attending case management meetings twice a month, and participating in nutrition and budgeting workshops and house meetings. Walter opened a savings account, collected Social Security Disability payments, and through careful budgeting with his case manager, he was able to save money while living at Kumuhonua.

Walter ultimately was able to increase his net worth, which opened up more housing options for him. Earlier in the year, he was able to secure permanent housing at La’iola Elderly Housing, an affordable apartment complex for seniors in Wahiawa. Walter was very excited about the move and made the proper arrangements for his transportation and dialysis treatments. On April 16th, Walter successfully moved out of Kumuhonua and into Laiola. Kumuhonua staff wishes him the best of luck in his new endeavors.


Household Receives LIHEAP and Employment Assistance

Termy and her boyfriend Reagan came to HCAP’s Kalihi-Palama District Service Center seeking assistance with their electric bills. Both were unemployed; they had received a disconnection notice from HECO. The staff at Kalihi-Palama District Service Center helped the couple apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Through LIHEAP’s Emergency Crisis Intervention (ECI) credit, their electricity was no longer at risk of being shut off.

After applying for LIHEAP, Termy and Reagan were referred to the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Service (ECS) Program. They enrolled and completed Job Readiness Training.  Since they had two children of preschool age, Kalihi-Palama District Service Center staff provided them with a referral to HCAP Head Start in case they qualified for the program.

In mid-April, Termy returned to the Kalihi-Palama District Service Center for food assistance; she was able to receive canned goods from their Emergency Food Pantry. Termy was still on the job search and requested to receive email and phone call follow-ups on job opportunities.

Fortunately, Termy received an employment offer soon thereafter: she landed a job at the local Jack in the Box, close to home. Kalihi-Palama District Service Center’s Community Workers continue to follow up with Termy and her employer to verify her employment and provide additional assistance as needed.


Former SCSEP Participant Obtains Employment at HCAP

Photo of Pamela Windward

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Pamela Williams joined HCAP’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in 2014 to gain knowledge and experience in the social services field.  Through SCSEP, Pamela gained many skills that would help towards her goal of obtaining employment in social services. She was also able to save enough money to purchase her own car.

In 2017, Pamela transitioned out of SCSEP and worked in the for-profit sector. Nevertheless, she still kept her eyes open for vacant positions at HCAP. Earlier this year, Pamela saw a vacancy for the Community Worker position at the Windward District Service Center and immediately applied for the position. Last month, she received an employment offer from HCAP.  Pamela is now able to use her education, skills and knowledge to better serve the people of Hawai’i, which is where her passion lies.


Kalihi STEM Students Showcase Sand Art Project at Town Hall Meeting

Photo of Kalihi Town Hall

This week, students at the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program’s Kalihi STEM Exploration Center, a 21st Century Community Learning Center, were able to showcase what they have been learning at a Town Hall at Princess Victoria Ka’iulani Elementary School.  Families and students who attended the Town Hall were invited to take part in a sand art activity. The Kalihi STEM teacher, with assistance from her STEM students, demonstrated how to make sand art.  The sand art project was part of the larger Earth and Water themed unit the Kalihi STEM students have been learning about.